What do Steve Aoki and Floyd Mayweather have in common? Besides their inexhaustible ability to stay in the spotlight, they both have worked with the same tireless entrepreneur and industry connector: Michael Alexander AKA “Mike the Connect.” An entrepreneur and entertainment industry specialist by trade, Mike has dedicated his life to connecting entertainment’s brightest stars with sponsorships, events, and each other. Although Mike built much of his success behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, his unique ability to connect others has quickly brought him into a spotlight of his own.
As a full-time entrepreneur, Mike has travelled to over 70 countries during his 10 years in the entertainment industry. Now an established mover and shaker, Mike has worked behind the scenes with names like Steve Aoki and Floyd Mayweather to make the vital connections that could possibly help expand their brand or audience. One glance at Mike’s Instagram shows him alternatively backstage with Justin Bieber, handling Elon Musk’s flamethrower, and climbing aboard a private jet to a client’s next big show.
Working as the industry’s go-to connecter isn’t all fun and flamethrowers, however, and Mike regularly faces serious obstacles when trying to connect with new artists: “One of the biggest obstacles that I face on a regular basis is being able to make an artist feel comfortable to trust that their best interest is always my highest priority. Many artists get taken advantage of and it is hard for them to trust that I am actually trying to be there to help them grow their brand and thus, their business!”
Despite these issues with new artists, Mike believes that putting in hard work and producing results for his clients is the best way to earn their trust. Instead of talking a big game or flashing shiny deals in front of potential partners, Mike prefers to simply put his nose to the grindstone and start producing results, ASAP. This work ethic – coupled with Mike’s seemingly innate ability to unite even the most dissimilar strands of humanity in the entertainment business – has allowed Mike to build relationships with some of the world’s biggest stars.
When asked what advice he would give to those hoping to follow his career path, Mike’s words reflect his work ethic perfectly. “My advice for anyone that may be trying to enter the entertainment business, is to do your research on every angle of the business so that you truly understand what you’re diving into,” says Mike. “A whole lot of people think that this business is just hanging around with celebs, partying, and traveling the world, but it’s not as easy as it seems. You will be putting in a lot of long work days, especially when you are touring, and you have to be prepared for that non-stop aspect of the job.”
Of all people in the entertainment business, Mike the Connect knows what it means to work long days on tour. Mike currently works alongside names like Steve Aoki, who has broken the Guinness World Record for most days spent touring five years in a row. While touring the world may seem like the experience of a lifetime, Mike knows that every day on the road is grueling work both for the artist and those around him. Mike has to stay one step ahead at all times, understanding the local music scene and keeping up to date with all industry trends.
In the midst of the current pandemic, however, even Aoki’s tours have slammed to a halt. As Mike puts it, “a lot of touring and events are on pause at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that I stop connecting. Instead of touring, I’m shifting my focus to connecting artists with other artists, helping them produce some incredible projects together while the world is on pause. My hope is that these collaborations allow musicians to bounce back even faster after COVID-19, showcasing big names and bringing new artists into the mainstream.”
In other words, not even coronavirus has slowed Mike the Connect down as he continues to connect artists the world over. Although Mike may not appear on stage next to Aoki or in the ring with Mayweather, his expertise and connections allow such artists and athletes to take the spotlight and share their talent with the world. Alongside Mike, the next generation of artists and athletes is ready to take the spotlight with his help.